So what deeply inappropriate figure will Donald Trump tap as his next communications director? Brian Kilmeade? Bill O’Reilly? Mayor McCheese? The obstreperously flatulent ghost of Richard Nixon’s dog?
Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman reports that Bill Shine was shown the door earlier today because Trump had started blaming him for all of Trump’s own stupid moves. Naturally.
It was a move many interpreted as a soft landing, given that Shine was only on the job for eight months. “Bill was iced out,” a Republican close to the White House told me, echoing the view of multiple sources that the president had been souring on the former Fox News co-president for months. “Trump has been calling him Bill ‘No Shine,’” one source briefed on the conversations told me.
Apparently, Trump thought he was getting someone like Sean Hannity when he hired Shine, who is Hannity’s former producer and one of his closest friends. When he was hired, Shine was given a mandate to stop leaks and improve Trump’s image, which is a little like Exxon hiring one part-time cleaner to scrub every duck in Valdez, Alaska.
In Shine’s defense, the brief was impossible given Trump’s destructive Twitter habits. “Trump needs someone to blame for his bad press,” another former West Wing official said.
Shine was in over his head from the beginning. As Roger Ailes’s right hand, he had virtually no direct contacts with reporters and no involvement in Fox’s P.R. department. “Bill’s not a strategist,” a former Fox executive told me. That lack of experience was evident last September when Shine was caught flat-footed during the rollout of Bob Woodward’s book Fear. “Trump started complaining to people there was no advance prep on Woodward’s book,” the Republican close to the White House said. “Trump let Shine know he wasn’t happy.”
Is Trump ever happy? I mean, outside of his “executive time”?
Cue up the next unqualified idiot. This should be “fun.”
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